First Capital Connect comes last in passenger satisfaction poll as Virgin retains the top spot

Marion Dakers
FIRST Capital Connect delivers the worst train service in Britain, according to a survey of thousands of passengers by consumer group Which?.

Virgin retained the top spot in a poll about value, punctuality and reliability, with a satisfaction score of 67 per cent, closely followed by the London Overground and C2C.

This compares to just 40 per cent satisfaction at FCC, whose score dips to 37 per cent on commuter routes.

But it was Greater Anglia that scored lowest with commuters, achieving just 36 per cent satisfaction in the annual survey released yesterday.

First Group’s other franchises fared better, with the Great Western line scoring 43 per cent, and the Transpenine Express service achieving an above- average score of 54 per cent.

More than half of the UK’s train companies had a score of 50 per cent or lower, and a mere 22 per cent of the 7,500 regular train users surveyed by Which? believe that services are improving.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Passengers tell us they are fed up with trains that are delayed, overcrowded and dirty. This is especially disappointing as many commuters can’t shop around or change the company they travel with.

“Train companies need to play fair with their customers, especially when they are being asked to pay more for their journeys.”

The Association of Train Operating Companies countered that a larger poll by watchdog Passenger Focus last month found that a record 85 per cent of train users are satisfied with the service.

Rail fares rose by an average of 3.9 per cent in January, with some tickets on unregulated journeys soaring by as much as 12 per cent.